The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant is not needed for the stability of the New England electric grid, according to grid operator ISO New England.
Yankee opponents say the grid’s decision is a sign that Yankee isn’t needed to keep the lights on.
ISO recently conducted an auction for the region’s future power needs. And it reversed its decision from last year, when it said Vermont Yankee had to keep cranking out its 620 megawatts to keep the transmission grid stable in southern New Hampshire and New England.
Now ISO says transmission upgrades and new generation means that Yankee is no longer needed to maintain grid reliability. Sandra Levine of the Conservation Law Foundation said ISO delivered an unambiguous message.
“It made a very clear determination for 2015 going forward Vermont Yankee is not needed,” Levine said.
Levine said ISO also made the same determination for 2013 as well. “Other improvements to the power grid as well as new renewable energy resources and energy efficiency resources will be sufficient to cover whatever power that Vermont Yankee would otherwise be providing,” she said.
Levine and other Yankee opponents are cheering the news from ISO. For one, they say if Entergy Vermont Yankee had been deemed necessary to keep the grid stable, Entergy would have been entitled to a bonus payment. And second, Levine says the ISO decision undercuts one of Energy’s main arguments to keep Yankee running.
“The lights will stay on, the electricity will keep flowing, and we will continue to have more than adequate power supply without Vermont Yankee,” she said….